CORE YOGA POSES






Mr. Yoga's: Detox + Anti-Aging + Flexibility Supplement


CORE YOGA POSES:
A strong core allows for stability and strength and forms the foundation for life on and off our yoga mat. In addition to improving posture and toning our muscles, developing a strong core will help prevent injury by strengthening the psoas, abdominal organs and lumbar spine. A strong core will allow you overcome many physical limitations allowing you to execute your yoga practice with grace and ease.





Cat Tilt Pose / Bidalasana

(bee-dahl-AHS-anna)

bidala = cat

1. Start from your hands and knees with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Keep your fingers spread and your toes pointed toward the back with the top of your feet flat on the ground.

2. Exhaling, pull your belly button in and round your spine up toward the ceiling, tuck your pelvis and drop your head toward the floor.

Benefits
- Strengthens your core
- Stretches your back and spine
- Improves digestion

Cautions
- Do not perform if you have a back or wrist or knee injury or use a blanket for your knees and straighten your wrists and balance on your knuckles

 


 



Dolphin Plank Pose / Makarasana

(ma-car-ahs-anna)

Makara = Dolphin, sea dragon or water-monster

1. From Downward Facing dog rock forward until your shoulders are over your fingers.  Lower your buttocks until it is in line with your shoulders and heels.

2. Keep your toes tucked under and push your heals toward the back of the room.  Keep your bellybutton pulled in toward your spine, tuck in your pelvis and keep your shoulder blades down your back.

3. One arm at a time bend your elbows and drop down until you are resting on your forearms with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders.

4.  Clasp your hands, simply keep your forearms parallel or place your palms down on the floor.  Keep your neck long.

Benefits
- Strengthens your legs, core, arms, shoulders and neck
- Stretches your feet

Cautions
- Do not perform if you have a shoulder injury

 


 

 


Boat Pose (Variation) / Navasana

(nah nah-VAHS-anna)

nava=boat

1. Sit down with your legs extended out in front of you. Lift your tail bone up and expand open your chest. Pull your belly button back towards your spine. Place your hands palms facing down at either side of your hips.

2. Tip back slightly and bend your legs. Bring your feet up off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor. Make sure to place equal weight on your sitting bones. You may grab on to the backs of your knees initially to help stabilize your self.

3. Slowly start to straighten the legs completely and point your toes up to the sky. As you lift, engage your core and keep your belly pulled in. Keep your chest expanded and shoulders down.

4. When your legs are straightened, lower your hands back down to the ground and rest them flat beside your hips. Tuck your chin in slightly and gaze forwards to lengthen out the back of the neck.

5. Maintain the pose for at least 10 seconds and gradually increase the length of the pose as you develop greater core strength.

Benefits
- Strengthens and tones the core, abdominals and spine
- Helps to improve digestion
- Improves balance
- Increases stamina

Cautions
- Low blood pressure
- Pregnancy
- Asthma

 


 



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Bakasana / Crane pose

(bahk-AHS-anna) ?
baka = crane

1. From a squatted position on your tip toes, place your feet approximately hip distance apart and place your hands in front of you shoulder width apart with your fingertips facing forward.

2. Straighten your arms and lean your knees into your armpits above your triceps.

3. To prepare, shift your weight forwards onto your hands and try lifting one foot at a time off the floor.

4. When you are ready lean forward and lift both feet off the floor. Keep your gaze to the ground just past your fingertips.

5. Using your core lift your tailbone and hips into the air and bring your heels as close to your buttocks as you can.

Benefits
- Strengthens arms, wrists, abdominals
- Improves balance
- Stretches the spine

Cautions
- Carpal tunnel
- Pregnancy

 


 

 


Upward-Facing Open Angle Pose / Urdhva Upavistha Konasana

(OORD-vah oo-pah-VEESH-tah Cone-AHS-anna)

urdhva=upward
upavistha= seated, sitting
kona=angle

1. Initially, practice this pose as a forward bend until you are comfortable by first sitting on the ground with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Open your legs so they are a little more than 90 degrees apart and start to fold forward from the hips keeping your back flat. Walk your hands forwards until your chest can comfortably rest on the ground and grab on to the outside edges of your feet. Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds. Only when you have become familiar with this position, continue to the next step.

2. From sitting with your legs extended straight out, bend your legs and grab on to the outside edges of your feet. Lift your tail bone up and expand open your chest. Pull your belly button back towards your spine.

3. Tip back slightly and start to open your legs out to the sides at approximately at a 90 degree angle. Straighten your legs completely while still holding on to the outside edges of the feet. Make sure to place equal weight on your sitting bones.
As you lift, engage your core and keep your belly pulled in. Keep your chest expanded and shoulders down. Start to pull your self in closer so that your torso is as vertical as possible. Maintain the pose for at least 10 seconds and gradually increase the length of the pose as you develop greater core strength.

Benefits
- Strengthens and tones the core, abdominals and spine
- Helps to improve digestion by stimulating abdominal organs
- Improves balance
- Stretches soleus, gastrocnemius, semitendinosus (inside of legs).

Cautions
- Lumbar spine injury
- Pregnancy
- High or low blood pressure

 


 

 

Upward Facing Forward Bend/ Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana

(OORD-vah Moo-kha Posh-ee-moh-tan-AHS-anna)

urdhva = upward
mukha = face
paschima = back of body, west side
uttana = stretched

1. Sit down with your legs extended out in front of you. Lift your tail bone up and expand open your chest. Pull your belly button back towards your spine. Place your hands palms facing down at either side of your hips. Tip back slightly and bend your legs. Bring your feet up as high as your knees so that your shins are parallel to the floor. Make sure to place equal weight on your sitting bones. You may grab on to the backs of your knees initially to help stabilize your self.

2. Grab on to your big toes with your index and middle fingers and slowly start to straighten your legs completely. Point your toes up to the sky. As you lift, engage your core and keep your belly pulled in. Keep your chest expanded and shoulders down. Pull your self in as close to your legs as possible.

3. Release your right arm and place your fingertips on the ground as far forward as you need to straighten your arm completely.  Release your left arm and use it to help keep your legs lifted and core stabilized. When you feel confident, release your left arm down to the ground as you did with your right arm.  Stay tucked in and keep your forehead to your shins. Maintain the pose for at least 10 seconds and gradually increase the length of the pose as you develop greater core strength.

Benefits
- Greatly strengthens and tones the core, abdominals and spine
- Helps to improve digestion
- Improves balance
- Increases stamina
- Strengthens and stretches the backs of the legs

Cautions
- Low blood pressure
- Pregnancy
- Asthma

 


 



Pendant pose / Lolasana

(low-LAHS-anna)

lola = pendant, charm

1. From Tadasana, squat down and come to your tip toes and rest your knees on your chest. Place your hands about shoulder width apart and approximately one foot’s length away from the tops of your feet with your fingertips pointed to the front and palms down.

2. Brace your arms and your core and rock forward, shifting all your weight into your arms. Variation: Place yoga blocks underneath your hands on the lowest level to help you get a little more height for lifting up.

3. Lift your right leg up so it is tucked in as close as possible to your body and hold it there for at least 5 seconds. Release your right leg down and repeat with the left leg.

4. Cross your ankles right over left in your squatted position and simultaneously using your core’s stability and arm’s strength, lift both legs up and tuck your legs in as close as possible to your body.

5. Try to straighten your arms as much as possible and gaze forwards. Hold the pose for a few seconds at a time and gradually increase your time in the pose as you develop strength. Repeat the steps outlined above this time changing leg position.

Benefits
- Strengthens arms, shoulders, wrists
- Strengthens core
- Improves balance

Cautions
- Carpal tunnel
- Shoulder injury

 


 



Plank Pose

1. If you are starting in Downward Dog, inhale and draw your torso forward until the arms are perpendicular to the floor and the shoulders directly over the wrists, torso straight and in line with your legs.  If you are a beginner you can bring your knees to the floor.

2. Turn your elbows to the back of the room and spread your shoulder blades and collarbones.

3. Press the front of your thighs up toward the sky and push your tailbone back.  Lengthen your neck and look at the ground keeping your throat and eyes soft.

Benefits
- Strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine
- Tones the abdomen?
- Increases core strength and stability?

Cautions
- This pose can be very hard on the wrists.  If you have carpel tunnel syndrome or wrist problems, you can try making fists, straightening your wrists and pressing into the ground with the flats of your fingers between the first and second knuckles.

 


 

 


Firefly pose / Tittibhasana (Legs High Var.)

(Tee-Tee-bah-AHS-ana)

tittibha = a small bird living along the coast line; also a firefly or insect.

1. Start by standing a little more than hip distance apart. Bend forward and take your right shoulder and place it under your right knee. Take your left shoulder and place it under your left.

2. Take your hands and place them on the outside of your feet, palms flat on the floor and fingertips facing forwards.

3. With control, carefully bend your arms and knees and shift your weight back into your arms. You should feel the natural tendency for your legs to lift up as you shift your center of gravity. Try to get your tailbone low and pointing downwards towards the ground.

4. Lift your feet up off the ground simultaneously a couple of inches as you shift your weight back as you straighten your arms. Variation: try lifting one leg off  the ground at a time until you feel stable enough to try them both. Squeeze your inner thighs together against your upper arms to help you stabilize. Straighten your legs and extended them up towards the sky.

5. Keep your gaze forwards. Try to maintain the pose for 15-30 seconds and lower down to the floor with control to exit the pose.

Benefits
- Strengthens the arms, shoulders and wrists
- Improves balance and focus
- Stretches and strengthens hamstrings

Cautions
- Carpal tunnel
- Shoulder Injury

 


 




Balance Dedicated to the Sage Vasistha  (Side Plank pose) / Vasisthasana

(vah-sish-TAHS-anna)

Vasistha= a sage; most excellent, best, richest

1. Start in plank position. Be sure that your hands are slightly in front of your shoulders, your core is engaged and your pelvis is tucked in. Engage your legs.

2. Simultaneously, roll your weight to the outside edge of your left foot and the inside edge of your right foot.  As you shift your weight, lift your right arm up to the sky palm facing the same direction as your chest. Keep your shoulders stacked upon one another with your arms extending in a straight line. Lift your hips up high and keep your torso in a straight line with your hips and legs. Resist the temptation to collapse your hips inwards. Variation: To decrease intensity, bend your left leg and rest it on the ground for greater support.

3. Stack your feet, your right foot on top of your left foot and balance on the outside edge of your left foot. Turn your head and gaze at your thumb in the sky.

4. Maintain the pose for 15-60 seconds. Lower down into plank and practice again this time switching sides.

Benefits
- Strengthens the external obliques, abdominals, core, the arms, triceps, deltoids
- Develops coordination with the upper and lower halves of our body
- Strengthens wrists

Cautions
- Carpal tunnel
- Ankle injury

 


 

 


One-Leg-Over- Arm Balance / Eka Hasta Bhujasana

(eck-AH has-TAH boo-jah-pee-DAHS-anna)

eka = one
hasta = hand
Bhuja = place in Indina, Hindu Saint

1. Begin by sitting in Dandasana, legs extended out straight in front of you. Take your right leg with both your hands and place it over your right shoulder.

2. Place both hands on the ground on either side of you left thigh with your fingertips facing forwards. Use the pressure of the back of your shoulder and press back to help keep your leg securely in position.

3. Engage your core muscles and straighten your arms. Start to lift your buttocks off the floor as high as you are able. You may keep your left foot on the floor initially, but try to lift it off the floor for a second at a time. As you become more familiar with the pose, lift your left foot off the floor and hold it so it is hovering off the floor. Variation: To increase difficulty, lift your buttocks and leg off the floor at the same time. Keep your gaze forwards. Maintain the position for as long as you are able and slowly release. Practice again but switch to the other leg.

Benefits
- Develops core strength and stability
- Increases shoulder and arm strength
- Stretches the hamstrings

Cautions
- Carpal Tunnel
- Shoulder Injury
- Pregnancy

 


 

 




2 Comments for CORE YOGA POSES


Habeeb - Reply
May 28, 2013, 7:32 am

ALL THE EXERCISES ARE GREAT AND NICE ADDITION TO MY PRACTICE, GOD BLESS YOU GUYS

MR.YOGA - Reply
June 11, 2013, 9:36 pm

Glad that we can add some value to your practice namaste!





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